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  1. #92
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Treasure coast, FL
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    Does anybody have the Amprobe 54NAV to compare? That meter always intrigued me and was going to be my replacement meter when my current one finally died.

    It also does power factor/wattage/harmonics. And the clamp measures DC amperage

    Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk

  2. #93
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Iowa City, IA
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    23
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    This meter looks exactly the same as the Harbor Freight Ames clamp meter, item # 64017. Some of the keys are labeled slightly different but the basic design is identical. There's also an identical one on AliExpress for $80. I know a lot of stuff is sourced from China. Hope the guts aren't the same.

    I have an IDVM 550 on the way from Grainger. I may have to get the HF one to do comparisons. Obviously the advantage of the Redfish is the wireless and MQ integration but quality of the components is more important.

    Jim, any comments on what changes were made internally compared to what we might find in this meter at HF?

  3. #94
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Pahrump, NV
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    2,178
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bnmarshall View Post
    This meter looks exactly the same as the Harbor Freight Ames clamp meter, item # 64017. Some of the keys are labeled slightly different but the basic design is identical. There's also an identical one on AliExpress for $80. I know a lot of stuff is sourced from China. Hope the guts aren't the same.

    I have an IDVM 550 on the way from Grainger. I may have to get the HF one to do comparisons. Obviously the advantage of the Redfish is the wireless and MQ integration but quality of the components is more important.

    Jim, any comments on what changes were made internally compared to what we might find in this meter at HF?
    I did a little research.

    Ames Instruments is a trademark of HF filed on 6/21/2018. Several of the specifications 64017 are the same as the IDVM 550. The 64017 doesn’t have the BTLE capability which is part of what makes it so nice for HVACR.

    I certainly have no problem with Redfish marketing a slightly different less expensive version under the Ames brand. It also helps reduce the cost of the versions we want if they are using the same basic body for multiple levels of meters.

    Profits from these other markets can help offset development costs for future improvements of MQ and Redfish/Supco for HVACR use.
    It's an upside down world we live in.

  4. #95
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Central NJ Area
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    I really haven’t been very happy with the performance of the 510 (and the new 550 so far). I don’t have confidence in the meters readings due to more than a few inaccuracies that could have been bad. Confidence with my electrical testing equipment is without a doubt one of the most important aspects. I will never entertain having to second guess my electrical test readings. Price is not a factor with this test instrument.

    The only reason I bought the Redfish meters is to use them with MQ app. If troubleshooting i don’t use the Redfish. The 510 has given me inaccurate readings in the past and thats all it takes to lose confidence in the tool, and then makes me second guess the accuracy of the meter and every reading I get. Personally this is the worst possible thing that can happen when your troubleshooting electrical issues and is a risk I not willing to take. Since 90% of HVAC problems are electrical related a quality DMM is a must not a option.

    I’ve never had my 87V or 289 give me a questionable reading. I do ensure my batteries and test leads are in good shape. I do check all my meters with decade boxes and proving units every so often.

    The reddish has some really cool test features, and good reference info, but the lack of confidence it inspires and occasional false & delayed readings just makes me second guess it.

  5. #96
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Iowa City, IA
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    23
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    What I'm saying is that the HF, Redfish and the other I found on AliExpress are the same basic design sourced from a manufacturer in China. It's unlikely that Redfish designed this from the ground up. They likely found a platform that suited their needs and modified it to have the BTLE capability. The HF model has been on the market for some time.

    I guess I'm just hoping that the quality of the internal components are good. HF electronics are not known for quality in terms of precision, accuracy and reliability. If the Redfish is basically the same meter with a BTLE transmitter then I'm not sure how confident I'll be. The AliExpress model has USB output. With that in place it's very easy to replace the USB interface with. BTLE module and transmit the same data wirelessly to an app written to interperet the data stream. I've done this before with GPS and other other devices that can output a basic stream of serial data.

    I have confidence in Jim and the people he works with to put something on the market that they feel is quality and meets the needs of the industry.

    I come from a place where Fluke calibrated meters with NIST certification are standard. My point of reference is very high.

    I look forward to running my 550 through it's paces.

  6. #97
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    Oct 2018
    Location
    Iowa City, IA
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    I think Jim shared that the 510 was not their best choice in regards to a meter. Hopefully they've learned from that with the 550.

  7. #98
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Central NJ Area
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bnmarshall View Post
    I think Jim shared that the 510 was not their best choice in regards to a meter. Hopefully they've learned from that with the 550.
    Supco unfortunately is not know for their quality.

  8. #99
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Triad - North Carolina
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    538
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    Just read through this thread.
    IMHO
    We are all too quick to jump at a new tool and gadget ( me included )
    Some of it sounds "neat" some not so good.
    I have not checked into what the cost of this is but I do believe I'll wait and not jump at something because it will connect to an app.
    I don't need another tool that will collect dust.
    Yes, I've seen that before and it doesn't mean I like it.

  9. #100
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Akron
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    1,807
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    I figured at some point this would come up.

    There are only a few contract manufacturers of meters in the entire world and they are used because the market for specialty meters is small and the cost of development and certification very expensive.

    What you are seeing as common is the housing. Tooling to make the plastic is extremely expensive to design and to build. We went with a stock housing for the meter to keep the development cost down aside from that, there is not a lot in common with any of those designs. The design is ours.

    When you work with a contract manufacturer, you write your own specifications for the meter. The components including the processor, resistors, display, keypad layout, and the design are a function of the accuracy and resolution requirements. The meter is built and then tested to meet CE and ETL requirements which we have to pay for annually. We then bring the meter in and test it on a $25K Fluke calibrator and power supply to make sure it meets the design requirements. We then beta test and internally test the design. It took over a year for us to complete the process. Most of the cost in the Redfish iDVM is in the BTLE radio integration, the high-end CT and the processor for power. The rest of the cost is in the higher tolerance components.

    The 510 and the 550 are both now ideal for HVAC. The 510, however, was not engineered for that application initially. When we bought RF, it was set up default DC and the specification was written by an electronics engineer. We have since updated the meter. Also, the iDVM333 clamp was a workaround until we could build a true clamp meter.

    Now take it a step further. Free apps are not free apps. We pay for them. MeasureQuick has quite a few programmers to pay, (19 at our peak) and 1000's of hours in development and maintenance in making apps specific for HVAC applications. The simplest of apps start at $100K and those like MQ end up in the range of 2.5-3 million in investment just where it sits today. In addition to app development, we have to keep the apps maintained across multiple platforms and 100's if not thousands of versions of Android and try to get it to work on every low-end phone that some will expect it to work on in the market.

    Case in point below is a 1985 Dodge Omni. It came off the line at Crysler like every other one. If you did not know any better you would think is just another POS Omni. What you would miss however is that Omni was sent to Carrol Shelby and was completely redesigned from the suspension to the engine and that year that Omni outperformed Mustang, Corvette, and Ferrari. It was one of 500 ever built.

    The moral of the story is this. Unless you know what you are looking at you really cannot appreciate the value. We put a lot of time in effort and pride into products that we represent. Just like Carroll Shelby, we can take an average item and turn it into something special.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    JLB,

  10. #101
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Pittsburgh
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    213
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    I like the GLH analogy.
    Eric should paint it red and get vanity plates (iDVM-550).


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Bill Spohn
    President & CEO
    www.TruTechTools.com

  11. #102
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Iowa City, IA
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    23
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    Thank you for the thourough reply! I've heard you on HVAC Shoptalk and HVAC School discussing MQ and the connected tools. I'm looking forward to trying them out. I just need to get my employer to spring for Fieldpiece probes.

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  13. #103
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    Dec 2004
    Location
    Chicago area
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bnmarshall View Post
    Thank you for the thourough reply! I've heard you on HVAC Shoptalk and HVAC School discussing MQ and the connected tools. I'm looking forward to trying them out. I just need to get my employer to spring for Fieldpiece probes.
    Or you could invest in yourself.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  14. #104
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Iowa City, IA
    Posts
    23
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    I work for a State institution. We aren't allowed to buy and bring our own tools. They have to be approved and purchased by the Facilities Management procurement people. Really good for the most part but they are often behind the curve when it comes to technology for tradespeople.

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